ESPN Honolulu’s Bobby Curran Joins as Moderator for “Life Interrupted: Sports”
Join us this Thursday, June 11, at 1 p.m. for a talk story on how to handle our student athletes’ mental wellness through these uncertain times.
Sports play a big role is our lives and in Hawai‘i. We cheer on our kids, nephews, nieces, cousins, the neighborsʻ grandkids and our current favorite teams and athletes, in person and on TV. For young athletes, from T-ball to college, sports provides another set of friends and challenges, a place to work out and learn team skills. For some high school and college athletes, their favorite sports can also lead to a career path.
But COVID-19 called time out on most sports. As restrictions lift, your family may be able shoot some hoops with a few friends at the park but what about students in high school and college? Some seasons already ended without the fanfare of a special game. Some gyms are beginning to open at much smaller capacity. Even fans who rely on sports as an escape from their daily lives are missing the chance to lose ourselves in watching others play.
Whatʻs being done to help student athletes work through this pandemic? What can families do to help support others through these uncertain times? We talk with experts from high school and college sports who are grappling with these issues as well as a specialist in mental wellness and sport psychology. And we hear from a nationally ranked UH player whose season was abruptly ended by the pandemic.
Chris Chun serves as executive director of the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association. After graduating from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law in 2003, Chris practiced law with two Hawai‘i firms. But seven years later, he was drawn back to his first love of sports. Chris has coached youth and intermediate level baseball, and done pro bono work for the O‘ahu Interscholastic Association. In 2010, Chris accepted the position he holds now, leading the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association, a nonprofit that oversees high school sports throughout Hawai‘i.
David Matlin serves as director of athletics for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He grew up the son of a major league baseball executive, worked for the Houston Astros and the UH ticket office before becoming the director of operations for the Hawai‘i Bowl in 2002. In 2007 he became the executive director of the Hawai‘i Bowl as well as the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. He built on relationships with coaches, administrators and broadcast executives before taking on his current role as the UH athletics director in 2015.
Anne Weese serves as director of mental wellness and sport psychology at Kansas State Athletics. Anne was a walk-on basketball player and a pre-med major at Notre Dame University when a single psychology class changed her academic arc, and ultimately her life’s work. After graduating from Notre Dame with a BA in psychology, Weese was hired as an assistant basketball coach at Oklahoma State. She also embarked on a master’s degree program at the same time, but the workload dictated a choice, so she gave up coaching and earned a Ph.D in counseling psychology at Oklahoma State. She gained experience with staff stints at Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State and now her current position at Kansas State. She has seen a shift in the focus for those working with athletes evolve from athletic performance to overall mental health and wellness.
Colton Cowell is an award-winning member of the University of Hawai‘i men’s volleyball team, which was ranked No. 2 in the nation when the pandemic cut the season short. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics And the 2020 Men’s Volleyball scholar athlete award and is now pursuing a graduate certificate in the Renewable Energy & Island Sustainability Department. He and the other seniors will return for a final season. In the fall, he will serve as publicity officer and spokesperson for the UH-Manoa Special Olympics Committee. He is a graduate of King Kekaulike High School on Maui.
Bobby Curran, sports director of ESPN Honolulu, has been the host of the eponymous sports talk show for the last 28 years and the radio voice for UH football and basketball for two years longer. Earlier, he also worked on UH baseball and women’s volleyball and basketball. He has been the Hawai‘i Sportscaster of the Year voted six times by the National Sports Media Association.